An investigation into the possible arousal of psychological reactance as a consequence of interest inventory feedback Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b2773z32r

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  • The purpose of this research was to determine whether feedback from vocational interest inventories leads to the arousal of psychological reactance. The data for the study was collected from 80 male and female subjects who were first year students at Oregon State University enrolled in Psychology 111, Personal Development. The experimental design utilized consisted of having subjects scan a list of 39 occupational titles and then indicate on a pretest instrument three titles which they perceived as interesting, three perceived as uninteresting, and three toward which they felt indifferent, They were also asked to rate their interest in these nine occupations on a seven point semantic differential scale. Subjects were subsequently administered a fictitious vocational interest inventory which purported to measure the similarity between their interests and those of individuals successfully employed in various occupations. Subjects who were designated as experimentals received manipulated inventory feedback which indicated that their measured interests were either very similar to, very dissimilar to, or average in comparison to those of professionals employed in the nine occupations rated on the pretest instrument. Control subjects received no interest inventory feedback. Finally, a posttest was administered to all of the subjects in the study. This instrument called for the subjects to rerate their interest in the nine occupational titles previously indicated on the pretest. Psychological reactance was ascertained by noting whether changes in pretest-posttest ratings between the experimental and control groups occurred in theoretically predicted directions. The t-test of significance, along with the analysis of variance, were utilized in order to determine whether changes in rated interest were significant at the . 05 and . 01 levels. The results of the study indicated that subjects who received manipulated vocational interest inventory feedback did not express psychological reactance. The study did reveal, however, a tendency on the part of subjects to adjust their rated occupational interest in accordance with the type of manipulated feedback received. Feedback which indicated that the subjects' interests were very similar to, or average in comparison to those of employed professionals in a specific occupation resulted in subjects slightly raising their interest in that vocation. Feedback which indicated that the subjects' interests were dissimilar to those of employed professionals produced mixed results. For occupations initially described as "interesting," this feedback resulted in subjects significantly decreasing their rated interest. For occupations initially described as "indifferent" or "uninteresting" however, this type of feedback produced a slight increase in rated interest. The implications of these findings were discussed relative to reactance theory and vocational guidance.
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